HR Priorities in a Shifting Benefits Landscape

Priorities for employees and prospective talent are shifting. As healthcare costs increase in cost and benefits regulations increase in complexity, more individuals are using employee benefits as a major factor in job selection. Retaining the best and the brightest in your field means offering benefits solutions that are intelligent, adaptive, and cost-effective for both employees and your organization. The one-two punch of affordable bronze ACA-compliant plans in tandem with customizable gap coverages allows employees to opt into the specific services that they deem most important. Additionally, opting in for specific gap solutions means employees are much more likely to understand which coverages they possess and how to use them.

Though remarkably effective, gap coverages are still woefully underutilized in the marketplace. This presents a golden opportunity for employers to set themselves apart. Additionally, this strategy allows HR departments to control costs while offering everyone suitable coverage. It’s the way forward, and those who fail to adapt will fall farther and farther behind. To learn more about gap strategies for your organization, contact Chelten Consulting.

HSA Among Most Valuable Employee Benefits

shutterstock_174875483 - CopyMost employees focus on comparing insurance carriers and which plans they provide during open enrollment. Employees want to choose the most cost-effective coverage that meets their needs. This task is getting harder with each passing year due to rising health care costs. One often disregarded benefit is a health savings account (HSA).

An HSA is a savings account that employees use toward future medical expenses. Both employees and employers can contribute to HSAs. In order to be eligible for an HSA account, the employee must enroll in a high-deductible health plan (HDHP). Most companies offer a variety of HDHPs. An HDHP is an insurance plan with lower than average monthly premiums and a higher deductible. HDHPs combined with HSAs save employers more in the end over health services covered by a health maintenance organization (HMO).

While employees may initially balk at higher deductibles, having an HSA can offset medical expenses. Many employers contribute a certain amount to HSA accounts. Add in employee contributions, and out-of-pocket costs are no longer as daunting. If the employee does not use the money in their HSA right away, they continue to amass more savings for future medical expenses. This option appeals to employees as their employer deducts less money each month toward health care costs and it allows them to save for their future health needs.

Because combining HDHPs with HSAs can save employers a significant sum over time, they must stress the benefits to their employees. Many employees are unaware that HSAs can follow them from job to job and that their contributions are tax-free. To learn more about HSAs and benefits solutions, contact us.

3 GAP Strategies to Improve Your Employee Benefits Offerings

shutterstock_252811903 - CopyGroup Supplemental Health plans – called “GAP” plans – are used to fill in holes in high deductible health plans (HDHPs) offered to workers today.  They’re similar to the “Medigap” supplemental insurance plans millions of Seniors purchase each year to fill in holes in Medicare parts A&B.

These plans are considered “excepted benefits” under ACA meaning that they operate outside many of the rules of Obamacare.  They are offered only as supplements to existing major medical plans and only cover certain inpatient and outpatient deductibles and coinsurance costs.

We propose 3 GAP strategies to improve your employee benefits offerings:

“Insured HRA” strategy. Save money and duplicate or improve existing coverage. Combining a Bronze plan with GAP plan(s) can offer savings and even offer employees better coverages.

“Cadillac Tax” strategy. ACA Bronze plan base coverage, then allow employees to “pick and purchase” the right amount of GAP coverage.

“Private Exchange” strategy.  One Bronze plan base plan with multiple “buy up” GAP options. Instead of offering several major medical plans, simply give employees a strong network PPO Bronze plan and offer them several GAP plan options to “pick and purchase” the levels of GAP coverage they desire.

To learn more about gap strategies and what best fits your organization, contact Chelten Consulting.